Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder

by Erin

This cauliflower chowder is so damn good you’ll hardly notice the lack of potatoes in this low carb version. You can thank all the bacon and cheddar!

Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder #lowcarb #thespiffycookie

Jump to recipe

I’m not sure what has changed in my schedule these days, but lately feel as though I have a lot less time than before. Yes, I come into lab late at night sometimes and on weekends for various experiments, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Even more strange is that I feel like I spend less time cooking/baking than I used to, and have missed a day or two here and there at the gym (which is so not like me). Where has all the time gone??

Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder #soupswap

With this mysterious change in time, recipes that require less time are even more enticing than usual. Enter this quick and low carb chowder. Chowders are definitely comfort food, and they become even more comforting when they are healthified – if you ignore that excessive amount of cheese involved!

This recipe caught my attention because of my my happy experience with cauliflower pizza crust. It’s made with cauliflower and milk instead of potatoes and heavy cream, which magically tastes almost like the real thing but with less carbs.

Cauliflower Chowder with bacon and cheddar

I actually forgot how good this soup was until I remade it 8 years later. Holy cow. You seriously won’t realize it’s not potato chowder. And while I know the purpose was to be low carb, I think it would be even better in a bread bowl.

Looking for more soups? This post is also part of #SoupSwap day with a group of foodie friends! Check out the full list right before the recipe card for this chowder. Too bad we can’t actually swap soups in real life! Although I do have a socially distanced soup swap with friends later this month!

Bowl of Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder

National Soup Swap Day 2021

Happy National Soup Swap Day! Today, I’m linking up with other bloggers for a virtual soup swap hosted by Kate’s Recipe Box – and we’re all sharing some tasty soup recipes to warm you up!

Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder

Post updated 1/15/21, photo above is the original.

Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder #lowcarb #thespiffycookie


Yield: 6-8 servings Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken stock or vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 8 slices center-cut bacon, chopped (half used for garnish)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups shredded or grated cauliflower (1/2 large head)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2-4 dashes hot sauce (optional)
  • 12 oz. (2-1/2 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 green onions, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Whisk together flour and 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl then set aside.
  2. Saute bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate then remove all but 1 Tablespoon drippings from the pot. Add chopped onion, celery, carrot, and garlic to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and saute until vegetables are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower to the pot then stir to combine. Add water then place a lid on top and steam cauliflower until tender, stirring a couple times, about 5-7 minutes. Add remaining chicken broth and milk then turn up heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Slowly whisk in flour/chicken broth mixture while stirring, then turn down heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until chowder has thickened. Turn off heat and stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese until smooth, then stir in half the cooked bacon. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and/or hot sauce if necessary. Serve topped with remaining shredded cheese, cooked bacon, and green onions, if desired.
Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: Adapted slightly from Iowa Girl Eats.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see!
Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE

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Colleen - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck January 16, 2021 - 9:38 am

I have absolutely no problem with potatoes being shoved to the side in soup by cauliflower. It’s just such a great alternative! Plus, with this soup…there’s cheese…the real star of the show!!!

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Definitely going onto an upcoming weekly menu. Always looking for ways to incorporate more veggies into our diet and with the addition of bacon my hubby won’t even realize what I’m up to.

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Vicki @ WITK February 19, 2013 - 8:50 pm

I remember random stretches of time in grad school that I had no free time and got a lot of take-out from the Indian place across from my apartment! You’re getting close to the end and that’s when it gets crazy, keep going! Eat lots of soup :)

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar February 19, 2013 - 5:08 pm

Definitely one of my favorite soups! This recipe looks fabulous.

sally @ sallys baking addiction February 19, 2013 - 12:52 pm

mmm! I’ve only had cauliflower chowder once before. I feel like I haven’t lived until I try this version. I like that it’s made with milk, not cream. It sounds over-the-top incredible.

Carolyn February 19, 2013 - 8:49 am

I made a similar soup for Volume 3 of our low carb cookbook. All I can say is “great minds…”. Delicious and yours looks lovely!

spiffycookie February 19, 2013 - 8:50 am

Awesome! I actually need to tell a friend of mine about that cookbook. She is gluten intolerant, and I bet she could use it.

Tracey February 19, 2013 - 7:41 am

I made this recipe a few months ago and it’s definitely a fun substitute for the real thing. We’re on the same wavelength today – I posted a baked potato soup :)

spiffycookie February 19, 2013 - 8:30 am

Mmmm yummy day


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